The club's most recent competitive outing, away at Maesteg Harlequins at the start of the month, was a real old-fashioned tussle. We knew what we were going to face going to South Parade and we were pleased to come away with the 19-9 victory.
It has been well-documented that, for various reasons, we haven't played many games in 2019 so far. However, following the conclusion of the Six Nations this weekend, we will play a series of games back-to-back and can't wait to get stuck into the business end of of the season.
On Thursday evening we played Pontypool United at their Memorial Ground home and it was a important game for us. We want to build consistency and form ahead of some vital fixtures and it was an invaluable 80 minutes for the squad. Also, from a personal point of view, to get more minutes on the pitch as I continue my comeback from injury was priceless.
Our next competitive fixture is our National Cup quarter-final at home to Bridgend Ravens on March 23rd. We haven't played Bridgend since December 2011 and you can see how much the squad has changed in that time, with just three players from the team that took the field that day still on the playing staff at the club.
I fully expect us to have our biggest crowd of the season when Bridgend come to Pontypool Park. I believe we have the best fans in the country and they will come out in force to cheer us on. I have seen the canvassing that has been going on in the town and local area this week, so the local community is well aware of the game and its importance.
From the squad's point of view, the players and coaches are well aware of the magnitude of the game. We have taken a number of Principality Premiership scalps over the last couple of years, but we have never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage as a group. We want to continue to prove ourselves against the best teams in the country and show that we belong in that company.
Selection permitting, the game against Bridgend could allow me to move a step closer to a significant appearances milestone. I am currently on 246 appearances for the club and to reach 250 before the season reaches its conclusion would be amazing. My knee feels fine since my return from injury, so hopefully it's a matter of when and not if I reach the landmark.
I have experienced almost everything there is to offer during my time at the club, including promotions and relegations. I have even experienced the club going through a legal battle with the WRU. However, I think the last few years have shown that we are on an upward trajectory as a club and hopefully the positive experiences will far outweigh the negative in the years to come.
Jamie Jeune was speaking to Andrew Deering.